A Modern Christmas Manifesto

We shall not fear.

Repeat that with me. We shall not fear.

In our consumerism culture, we’ve officially entered the Christmas season. As Christians, we should celebrate Christ – God with us – at all times, not just through the month of December. This season is another opportunity though, albeit afforded largely by big business, to openly discuss and represent our faith.

I have a suggestion.

In these times of tribalism, division, and conflict, let us represent the Christ who walked in our midst without fear.

Though He lived under Roman oppression and saw suffering, injustice, crucifixions, unbearable taxation, religious hypocrisy, and danger for any who spoke truth, Jesus always lived by His Father’s ways and didn’t lower Himself to the ways of those in earthly power.

He did not fear their power.

He wasn’t unaware of reality. He was simply aware of the greater reality that His Father holds all power in His hands.

If we follow Jesus, we are eternal.

If we aren’t to fear death, why should we fear public opinion, national elections, or patterns on Starbucks cards? If we are to love our enemies – even when they imprison or oppress us – how can we not greet those who don’t understand the “reason for the season” with kindness and grace?

No one can hijack our faith. Just picture it. If a criminal shoved Jesus out of the driver’s seat and attempted to hijack His vehicle – do you have any doubt the car would still wind up wherever Jesus intended to go?

We shall not fear.

What a witness that will be this season! What a light that celebrates God with us! Amidst the yelling, protesting, screaming, and demanding, we shall not fear.

We shall not fear an ever more strident and secular society that misunderstands our theology, twists our truths, and mocks our beliefs.

We shall not fear false believers who misrepresent us in the marketplace, on the political stage, or on network news.

We shall not fear other Christians who don’t represent Jesus exactly the way we would.

We do not fear because God is with us. Jesus.

Speaking the truth of God’s Words to our own minds grounds us in the greater reality.

Perfect love casts out fear. Asking God for His love, love that is stronger than death, to offer others, is paramount.

Jesus didn’t fear, but He did act.

He didn’t ignore the pain, suffering, and rebellion of the world. He spoke truth – in stories, in sermons, in healings, in miracles, in quiet relationships, before crowds, from mountaintops, and in desolate places. He loved recklessly and spoke fearlessly. He was certain of His Father and His future.

He was present for those that others rejected, the side-lined, the outsider, the unloved, and He offered them the same truth: they were perfectly loved by the Father, they were included in His family, and they were equally invited to repent and live free.

Let us redefine the season in our times by demonstrating the freedom Jesus came to provide – freedom to love, freedom from fear, and freedom to live with the certainty of eternity.

Let us seek every opportunity to speak truth, to heal, to welcome the rejected and the outsider, and to preach repentance for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Let us live as citizens of that kingdom, citizens assigned to this outpost of glory. Ambassadors for Christ. Lights in the darkness. Unafraid because the light shines within us.

No one can take or compromise our freedom because it’s given to us by the One who holds all the power.

We shall not fear.

Let us spare the buttons, the T-shirts, the bumper stickers, the platitudes, and the attitudes. Let us shine like stars in the universe because we walk in these times unafraid.

God bless us, one and all.

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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Kim Wilbanks says:

    Yes!

  2. Rob McCullough says:

    Lori, thanks for the reminder of who Jesus is!

  3. Lyn Baker says:

    love your blog Lori

  4. Nancy Sullivan says:

    Embracing the Lord loosens my grip on the world and the fear of things over which I have no control. This reformed news junkie is holding tighter to the Prince of all peace. Your writing inspires us to refocus and relax. God bless.

  5. Nico van der Merwe says:

    We shall not fear – nor shall we give up, but look up. Thank you Lori!

  6. Val says:

    “Speaking the truth of God’s Words to our own minds grounds us in the greater reality.” Yes and Amen Lori. This post challenges and brings such peace at the same time. We will be surrounded this season by those who, as you said, twist and mock our beliefs. Your words draw me to God, and encourage me to keep my eyes on Him, asking Him to give me whatever I will need: patience, love, wisdom, as His ambassador.